Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011

Badger Hockey's Justin Schultz featured in Wall Street Journal

By Nicole
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Take a moment to read this WSJ article that focuses on Justin Schultz to tell the story of how there aren't offensive defensemen in the NHL anymore.

The article focuses on how Schultz is one of a dying breed - the offensive defensemen. Schultz is tied for third in the country in scoring, despite being on a not-so-great team and being a defensement. Despite the Badgers lack of success, Schultz is still being talked about as a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award (and was last year, too) because of his prowess as a scoring defenseman.

As this USCHO.com stat page will show you, there's just one other defensemen in the Top 50 scorers - the other guy is tied for 18th place.

The article talks about how offensive defensemen used to be a somewhat frequent occurence - hell, one of the greatest players of all time, Bobby Orr, was a defensemen.

But that "creature" just doesn't exist anymore. The NHL hasn't has a 100-point defensemen in 20 years - in fact, one's topped 80 points just once in that time.

The article does give Schutlz a lot of credit, but does say that its unlikely he'll become as prolific as guys like Orr or Nik Lindstrom or Brian Leetch. The NHL system isn't really set up for it anymore.

The managing editor of College Hockey News calls Schultz the best college hockey defensemen in a long, long time, but goes on to say that he's light years away from becoming as good as the greats.

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